THE PRICE OF DARKNESS - Graham Hurley
THE PRICE OF DARKNESS is the 8th in the DI Joe Faraday series - a series that deserves to be considerably better known. Slower paced than some, equally balanced between the personal life of DI Faraday and the investigations he is involved in, these books are more in the "to be savoured" arena than a "wild ride".
THE PRICE OF DARKNESS starts out with the funeral of local "identity" Bazza Mackenzie's brother - Winter is now on the inside of the Mackenzie firm - after a drink driving incident has him thrown out of the force. Back in Portsmouth, Faraday and his team investigate the execution style shooting of Jonathan Mallinder - a property developer, who, apart from running a very successful business, doesn't seem to have done anything to anyone. He's got a loving wife and family, a business partner with no problems with him, and a background as a talented and cool negotiator. So who were the two people in the stolen car who seemed to know exactly how to avoid the CCTV cameras? As the investigation into Mallinder's death crawls along, a government minister, on a visit to Portsmouth, is assassinated in a brazen shooting. Faraday soon finds himself moved off that investigation, out of the station completely, to work on the Mallinder case only.
Whilst the investigations into these two cases are proceeding, Winter is working his way into the Mackenzie firm further and further. Mackenzie is trying to rebrand himself as a legitimate businessman and an entrepreneur, but under it all a gangster is still a gangster. As things get more and more risky, Winter wonders more and more about his future - as a cop or as a crim.
Whilst it takes a while to get everything set up in THE PRICE OF DARKNESS, the early slowness gives way to a pretty complicated plot with the two main characters - Faraday and Winter - at the centre of their own little maelstroms. There's a deftness to the way that the situation for both players is worked out and a nice twist and hanging conclusion that makes you look forward to what's going to happen in the next book.
If you have read the earlier books in the series then you'll know all about Faraday - his family and his bird watching obsession; as well as Winter and his story. Knowing that back-story will definitely enhance THE PRICE OF DARKNESS. If you haven't read any of the earlier books, then track them down - there is nothing like a great classic English police procedural series.
The earlier books are Turnstone (2000), The Take (2002), Angels Passing (2003), Deadlight (2003), Cut to Black (2005), Blood and Honey (2006) and One Under (2007).
D/C Paul Winter has gone undercover in an attempt to infiltrate the inner circle of the city's premier drug baron, Bazza Mackenzie. Adrift in a world of easy money and brutally hard-won respect, Winter appears to be in his element. Worryingly so ...
But headquarters' concerns about Winter are soon supplanted by two high-profile Portsmouth murders. In the first, a property developer is shot dead with clinical efficiency, thus triggering Operation Billhook. Next, a government minister visiting the city is assassinated by two helmeted motorcyclists while his car is stuck in rush-hour traffic. A second investigation is launched, Operation Polygon.